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wherm5150 01-28-2010 09:35 PM

New member here...

My name is Jeremy, I live in Wisconsin. I'm an auto body technician by trade, a home owner and do it yourselfer by default. I joined this forum in hopes that I'll learn a lot from everyone here and get advice when needed.

My wife and I bought our house on Feb. 29th, 2008. It is a pre-fab home over a full basement foundation. When we bought it, it was a two bedroom, 1 bath home, with a 2+car attached garage. I got my building permit last January to finish our full basement. The basement project consists of a bedroom, recroom, full bath, and office (or bedroom, but "office" due to no natural light in that room).

Our house is on the main street in our town and on a hillside. Everyone else on our street has a walk out basement, but we didn't. Our house was the first one built in our development and is single family. All other homes surrounding us are multi family and were built later than ours. We are the third owners of the home even though it's only 10yrs old.

This last spring I had a contractor friend of mine excavate a portion of our backyard to add a walk out for our basement. I spent the majority of the summer and fall ignoring the basement remodel to complete the walk-out. We also had 180 cu.yds. of dirt brought in to level our yard as it was sloping downhill.

We look forward to completing our backyard this summer, and finishing the basement by the time our building permit expires next february, 2011. That's where you all come in! I'm gonna be lurking around this forum and adding input wherever I can to get to the point where I'm ready to complete my basement. Glad to me a member!

wherm5150 01-28-2010 09:56 PM

Here are some pics of our project...


During and after...

wherm5150 01-28-2010 09:58 PM

Retaining wall...

wherm5150 01-28-2010 10:01 PM

Some quick shots of our backyard leveling project...

AtlanticWBConst. 01-29-2010 09:32 AM

Hello Jeremy,

Welcome to the DIY Chatroom - Nice looking project.

wherm5150 01-29-2010 06:22 PM

^^^Thanks! We're pretty excited about it. It'll be nice to have a level backyard for our little one to run around in this summer:thumbup:.

Scuba_Dave 01-29-2010 06:28 PM

Nice to have a level yard, that's a lot of work
I'm curious as to why you didn't dig out further to the right hand side of the house ?
Other then its a lot of work :laughing:

wherm5150 01-30-2010 11:47 AM


Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave (Post 391381)
Nice to have a level yard, that's a lot of work
I'm curious as to why you didn't dig out further to the right hand side of the house ?
Other then its a lot of work :laughing:

basically because the garage is on one side, and the Central Air unit is on the other. Another reason is that the walk out door does not enter into a room, just a hallway, which is why we didn't go for a sliding glass door like our neighbors have. Also, when it's complete we'll have a deck above the walk out area and need a place to dig post holes into the ground 4ft deep to meet the frost line requirements.

There will be one more retaining wall built parallel to the back of the house where you see the hillside cut out. The exposed exterior foundation wall of the walk out along with the area below the vinyl siding around the entire house will be done in real stone siding to finish everything off. To tie it all in, I'm going to build a corner post at the end of the retaining wall closest to the walk out window where the parallel retaining wall will begin. That will be covered with the same stone siding and have a light on top enclosed by glass block and a capstone on top. On the garage side of the walk out area, you may notice that the retaining wall is 3' shorter than the other. This is because there will be an L shaped staircase leading from the walk out deck to the upper level. I will be installing a 36" door in the back corner of the garage that will lead out to the upper level deck.

I have a good portion of this project already designed in my 3D Punch Home design program, if I can figure out how to render the design and save it as an image file I will post up some pics!

Also, I don't mind anyone asking me questions like this cause every once in a while somebody asks something I hadn't even considered and it can be a big help for a newb like me!:thumbsup:

wherm5150 01-30-2010 11:52 AM

I just wanted to point out, in the last picture I posted you can really see the difference between how level our yard is now, and how much of a slop the neighbors yard has. From the end of the retaining wall to the back of our yard, there was a 5' difference in elevation. It is now only 10-12" which is hardly noticeable when walking around back there, but will provide adequate grading for proper run off. The yard will be hydroseeded this spring by the guy who did the grading for us.

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